Two Globo TV Cameramen Are Kidnapped and Tortured

Posted on February 2, 2010

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Ricardo Rodríguez and Jesús Murillo Varela

From left to right, Ricardo Rodríguez and Jesús Murillo Varela

Two cameramen from TV Globo who worked in the Presidential Palace during the administration of president Manuel Zelaya , and who actively participated in the marches of the Resistance against the Coup, were kidnapped and tortured by to police dressed as civilians, the victims denounced.

The tortured are Manuel de Jesus Murillo (24), who works for several news programs on Globo TV newscasts, and Ricardo Vazquez Vazquez (27), who works for the news Mi Nacion, directed by journalist Julio Ernesto Alvarado and transmitted by that same medium.

According to those affected, the abduction occurred at 10:00 pm last Tuesday at a gas station at the entrance to the Colonia Hogar in Tegucigalpa, where the youth had coordinated a meeting with another person, whose name was not revealed, to exchange video material related to the January 28th march when former President Zelaya left the country.

Manuel de Jesús Murillo said that while at the gas station two men in plain clothes, with nine-millimeter guns, pointed guns at their heads and warned them if they cried out or did not cooperate they would die there; they were then taken to a unknown house for torture and interrogation.

THREE HOURS OF AGONY
According to the cameraman Murillo, upon reaching the unrecognized house they were violently taken from the vehicle and thrown to the ground, then blindfolded, they placed a gag and tied hand and foot for three hours. Between the physical and psychological torture questioned about weapons and dollars. “It is better to cooperate, you sons of bitches, because if not we are going to kill you, tell us where are the weapons and dollars of the fourth ballot, where are the cellars with the RPG-7 grenade launchers and AK-47s,” Manuel recalled that armed men repeatedly asked, while slapping them.

Manuel de Jesús Murillo, who has yet to recover from the shock, told Tiempo that as they responded that they knew nothing and that the only weapon they had was the video camera, the torture increased. “Since we told them we did not know anything they put a sharp machete in his mouth, then they put it on my throat and then on my neck, and since we still didn’t say anything, they put a hood on me until I fainted, but when I woke up one of them said in my ear, speak … son of a bitch… if you’re don’t, the same thing will happen to you as your friend, touch him he is already dead,” Manuel de Jesus recalled with great emotion, because he believed that what had felt was the corpse of his friend and teammate Ricardo Vazquez.

Manuel de Jesus said the most difficult time he lived while in captivity was when he was wrapped from head to toe in a huge plastic bag, as used in the morgue, and was told that if he did not say where were the weapons were then they were going to bury him alive.

“I begged them in the memory of my mother and my two daughters I have, do not kill me. I felt so scared I peed my pants, then I started to pray and ask God to protect me, and then they received a call from their chief who was told that we had not talked and he told them to kill us, but thank God we were left abandoned at 2:00 am on Wednesday at the Beltline, near the settlement Victor F . Ardon,” detailed the young cameraman.

“My only crime was to participate in the marches of the Resistance. Three days before the elections I was arrested for hanging posters by the same policemen who tortured me this Tuesday, and my house was raided on election day and they told my mother and my daughters that if they did not surrender weapons, they would kill them all”, said Manuel de Jesús Murillo.

SOURCE: El Tiempo, http://www.tiempo.hn/secciones/sucesos/10351-raptan-y-torturan-a-dos-camarografos-de-globo-tv

UPDATE (March 3): Both videographers have reported continued harassment since the incident. Manuel de Jesús Murillo Varela reported armed men came looking for him at home, while Ricardo Rodríguez said that people in unidentified vehicles (without nameplates) have been seen prowling near his home.